July 15, 2010 | Factsheet on Russia and Eurasia, Missile Defense

New START’s Many Problems: What the Experts Say

Concern

  • The Honorable Eric Edelman, Former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy: “[A] START-like treaty that ignores North Korea and Iran may be a step backward rather than forward.” Testimony, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, June 24, 2010

Constrains Missile Defense

  • Ambassador Robert Joseph, former Undersecretary of State “Initially, the Obama Administration gave numerous assurances that there would be no limitations on missile defenses in the Treaty—‘no way, no how.’ Later, once the Treaty text was made public, the line changed to ‘no meaningful’ limitations and ‘no constraints on current and planned’ programs.” Testimony, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing, June 24, 2010

Weak on Verification

  • Senator James Inhofe (R-OK): “[V]erification appears to be less robust than in the 1991 treaty. … I am concerned that it will make it harder for our intelligence community to monitor Russian nuclear forces and may require additional resources, which we do not currently have, to ensure we are adequately monitoring … developments. I am also concerned that 18 inspections per year … is not robust enough given the fact we conducted on the order of 600 inspections during the 15 years of START I.” Statement on the Senate Floor, June 18, 2010

New Start: Advantage, RussiaAdvantage Russia

  • Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL): “This was a treaty that Russia needed more than the United States. … Such a bi-national agreement validates its superpower status. The United States therefore had an opportunity to leverage Russian desire for an agreement … [b]ut the administration missed this opportunity because it was so anxious to advance its vision of a world without nuclear weapons that it failed to see how START could help address the more immediate threat of nuclear proliferation.” Statement on the Senate Floor, May 14, 2010

Makes America Less Safe

  • The Honorable Richard Perle, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Arms Control: “[T]he president (a) signed an arms-control agreement with Russia that is a nearly perfect example of Cold War thinking; (b) announced a nuclear-weapons doctrine that does almost nothing to reduce the role of these weapons in a largely unchanged national security strategy; and (c) moved to abandon or diminish essential modernization of our aging arsenal. This is a dangerous, short-sighted policy.” The Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2010

Fails to Advance Non-Proliferation

  • The Honorable Kim R. Holmes, former Assistant Secretary of State: “The … net result of this treaty will be to accentuate the role of nuclear weapons, particularly in Russia’s military planning. … [T]he Russians are trying to constrain our advantage in conventional (non-nuclear) ‘strategic’ weapons, including missile defense, in order to accentuate the power of their nuclear arsenal. So even if the overall levels of nuclear weapons are lower, their strategic importance would be greater in maintaining the military balance … subverting the administration’s lofty intentions to use this treaty as a step toward universal nuclear disarmament.” Washington Times, April 1, 2010

Reverts to Cold War–Style Arms Control

  • Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC): “We have the technology, the capability and the responsibility as a federal government to defend our citizens, and to sign a major treaty that agrees in perpetuity to make ourselves vulnerable to a nuclear attack. … I can’t accept that when we have the capability to change it.” American Foreign Policy Council conference, May 20, 2010

For more information, please visit: http://ww.heritage.org

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